In a meeting convened by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in Baluwatar of Kathmandu on Wednesday, experts from various sectors suggested the government to change the modality of the existing lockdown, increase the number of COVID-19 tests, properly manage quarantine and isolation centers, and allow private health institutions to conduct COVID-19 tests.

During the PM’s four-hour-long consultation with experts held in a bid to curb coronavirus spread, most experts suggested changing the current modality of the lockdown and increasing coronavirus tests.

They also suggested that the Prime Minister should prepare a plan to move forward without extending lockdown.

About two dozen people, including Dr Bhagwan Koirala, former vice-chairman of the Planning Commission Pitamber Sharma, Swarnim Wagle, Shankar Sharma, economists, planners, sexologists, social activists, doctors, public health experts and nurses were present in the meeting.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokharel, Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali and Health and Population Minister Bhanubhakta Dhakal, also attended the meeting, who complained that the government had delayed coronavirus tests.

They also suggested that the government should work towards systematic arrangements for people arriving from India and other countries.

The participants expressed concern over the increasing cases of coronavirus as well as the socio-economic impact of the extended lockdown.

According to Sameer Mani Dixit, a public health expert present in the meeting, he and other participants advised the PM to properly manage quarantine and isolation centers.

They also suggested that the government should pay attention to the safety of health workers.

The government has also been suggested to focus on better border management, health check-ups, and quarantines at borders.

After listening to the experts’ suggestions, Prime Minister Oli acknowledged that the government was weak in managing the prevention and control of the disease and expressed his commitment to improve the situation.

PM Oli also admitted weakness in managing the influx of people via Indian borders.

PM Oli expressed his commitment to move forward by correcting the government’s weaknesses and added that he would take into account the experts’ suggestions while making decisions in the coming days.